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The Best Photography Festivals Opening This May
Published4 May 2023
Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, Photo London, Boutographies and Riga Photomonth are some of the photography festivals we selected for this month.
Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival / Toronto, Canada / 28 April – 11 June
More than 180 projects will make CONTACT's exhibitions program, featuring artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans, Persijn Broersen and Margit Lukács, Jake Kimble, African agency Sunday school, Jorian Charlton, John Delante & Ananna Rafa, and many more. Documentary approaches intersect the fictional, the personal and the political, video narratives present speculative reflections on today's reality as well as intimate and personal perspectives, archival work and collages integrate in and ampliate the festival's visual reach. Located in several sites around the city, both outdoors and indoors, exhibitions are activated by a rich program of talks, screenings, and workshops.
Discover more about the exhibited artists and the offered activities of the festival's website.
Photo London / London, UK / 11–14 May
A UK landmark of photography's dissemination, the Photo London fair is back this year with over 110 galleries presenting work from around the world.
Publishing houses such as Blow Up Press, Atelier EXB, Dewi Lewis Publishing and Overlapse, galleries such as Podbielski Contemporary, New Dimension, and O Gallery are just a few among the many names collectively representing the international photographic industry, and bringing compelling work crossing different formats and approaches. A public program of talks will foster the conversation between artists and curators on the themes and urgencies of contemporary photography, enriched by book launches, prizes presentations, and much more.
Explore the Fair's program on their website.
Boutographies / Montpellier, France / 6–28 May
With three weeks of exhibitions and activities offered every May, Boutographies has been the photographic highlight of Montpellier, France, for twenty years.
Issued from an Open Call process, the selection of works that makes Boutographie's exhibition program is presenting the voices of young European talents among whom Daniel SzalaÏ, Camilla de Maffei, Aurélien Goubau, Ekaterina Balaban, Andrea Gjestvang, Tamara Eckhardt, Pauline Vanden Neste, Flavio Montrone and Fatoumata Diabaté. Digital surveillance, salt mines and artificial suns, childhood and the struggles of entering adulthood are just some of the themes that cross this selection of mature, yet refreshing photographic creation, picturing a collective contemporary portrait of Europe.
Find out information about the festival program on Boutographies' website.
Riga Photomonth / Riga, Latvia / 1-31 May
Since 2014, Riga Photomonth tries to respond to current events, while exploring new ways to expand the photographic conversation.
Under the curation of Arnis Balčus, Riga's photographic festival is back this year with a program entirely composed of AI work, announcing the initiative as the first AI photo festival. Artificial intelligence is going to be employed as a tool to reflect on Latvian identity, and on the ideas, stereotypes, prejudices, and ideologies defining any outcome AI generators DALL-E, DeepAI, and Stable Diffusion might produce. Thirty-one different subjects will be addressed, building a portrait of Latvia and of contemporary technologies and their biases at a time.
Find out more on Riga Photomonth's website.
ALSO OPEN THIS MONTH:
Fotografia Europea / Reggio Emilia, Italy / 28 April – 11 June
Since 2006, Fotografia Europea is one of the main international yearly appointments for contemporary photography in Italy, displaying historical as well as emerging work to the city of Reggio Emilia. With Luce Lebart joining Walter Guadagnini and Tim Clark’s artistic direction, this year’s edition titled explores the European countries’ sense of collective belonging, and the way it is shaped by myths and memory. Explore the festival's program on their website.
Festival Circulation(s)/ Paris, France / 25 March – 21 May
Circulation(s) is bringing young, talented European photographers to Paris for the 13th time, searching for ways to explore today's pressing questions through various conceptual and aesthetic approaches that blur the boundaries between photography and contemporary art. Find out more on their website.
Kyotographie / Kyoto, Japan / 15 April – 14 May
This year’s edition of Kyotographie, themed “Border”, will question how lines can shape our existence, and explore the breaking of boundaries as an essential act for survival. Across the several venues in Kyoto, a complex visual discourse around political, urgent topics is articulated through a vast array of approaches. More information is to be found on their website.